The Stratford Drive garden was our second stop on the tour. Like a number of gardens on the tour, this garden was very natural in its planting style. From the hillside in front of the house we get a glimpse of the view across the canyon behind the house and an idea of how steep this garden is.
Through the gate and into the back garden the natural dry-stacked rock work attracted my attention right away because I have so many "opportunities" to use rocks in my own garden. Blackfoot Daisy with its round form is a good match for this circular opening in the sunny terrace.
Orange Globe Mallow, another great native plant for Central Texas, with orange blooms against the silvery foliage picks up the colors in the native limestone terrace walls.
I headed over to take a closer look at the swimming pool as did Lori of The Gardener of Good and Evil.
Here's that enticing view from the terrace below. A relaxing spot with the egg-shaped lounger and rock waterfall into the pool.
The color and structure of the house is quite striking against the steep hillside. Pam had toured this garden before and chose to focus on those colorful terraces and spaces nearer the house in her post on this visit.
I was intrigued by details like this juniper and cattle panel railing near the pool.
It's common for builders to work around our native live oaks and interesting to see creative solutions like this tree ring.
More views of the railing detail for future reference.
Down one level and a closer look at the waterfall.
The egg lounger on the opposite side of the pool is set in a grassy patch of sedge. The pathway leads up the hill around the side of the house to the left.
The sedge-lined pathway looked very familiar because we had just finished planting sedge along a similar pathway in our side yard.
As the path steepens, small rocks keep the gravel on the slope. We used a similar technique of setting horizontal rows of stones to hold soil on the slope.
A metal trimmed coyote fence divides the garden from more natural areas beyond. Coyote fences are common and this one is quite fancy with the metal posts. Cross vine is blooming on the fence.
I'd love to have a place for a cistern like this one near the front corner.
A small fenced garden is just downhill from the cistern.
Looking back at Pam's earlier post on this garden is encouraging to see that the sedge is as slow growing here as it is in my own garden. Mulch surrounds the sedge on the part of the path while the lower section is surrounded by gravel and I mused aloud that I still needed to decide on gravel or mulch for my own similar path. The mulch won overwhelming approval from my fellow bloggers so mulch it now is. It was so much fun to share observations with fellow bloggers along the way.
A breezeway connects the garage and house and the garden is planted with Texas native plants. The sculpture adds needed structure to the bed.
A detailed view of the rock work in the native plant gardens surrounding the house. I collect photos like these for inspiration on using rocks and walls in my own landscaping.
Driftwood sculpture horns arch over the path up to the street from the house. Pam recently encouraged bloggers to include more people in our garden photos so here's one I call "Garden Bloggers in Action". Left to Right: Heather of Xericstyle, friend Linda (in the pink hat), Kat of The Whimsical Gardener, Lori the Gardener of Good and Evil, and Diana of Sharing Nature's Garden.
I patiently waited for a clear spot to take the next one. More interesting or not? The bloggers in the photo add a sense of scale and an idea of the interaction that comes with touring gardens in a group.
The bench carved from an old tree trunk sits nearby in case a rest is needed on your way up to the mailbox. See a dinosaur in the bench?
The view back down to the house shows a bright blue bottle tree by the garage.
A good stop on the tour for collecting ideas for my own garden and there are still more gardens to post from this fun day.